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Ivy on Tree

I have an East facing garden, the darkest corner has a tree that's been taken over by ivy and is a spider hotel which I'm anxious about. The soil underneath won't grow grass just rather tall weeds. The cat uses the area as a toilet constantly, it's just awful.

How do I get rid of the ivy and is there any hope of the area growing grass ever again.  

I have 0% gardening experience, just starting out. I'll appreciate any reply. Thanks.


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,541
    Ivy is a great habitat for nesting birds and the winter flowers are a source of nectar for bees. It's not all bad.
  • Butterfly66Butterfly66 Posts: 920
    If it’s shady as well as presumably dry from the tree grass will always struggle. You could always just live wit( the weeds and ivy and keep it as a wildlife corner. 

    Alternatively try a dry-shade tolerant groundcover like pachysandra terminalis (shiny evergreen with white spring flowers) or geranium macrorrhizum (semi evergreen with pink summer flowers). Anything you plant will benefit from some soil improver been added first and watering until their established.
     If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”—Marcus Tullius Cicero
    East facing, top of a hill clay-loam, cultivated for centuries (7 years by me). Birmingham
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,530
    Hallo, Juststarted, and welcome to the forum.  Is the tree still alive, and do you like it?  If not, you could just have the whole lot cut down.  That would deal with the shade, dryness, weeds and spiders at a stroke.  But not until later in the year, in case there are birds nesting in it.  (Why are the spiders causing you anxiety?  They do no damage in a garden, and they are bird food.)

    Ivy doesn't directly harm trees, but there is a hazard.  It increases the tree's wind resistance.  Deciduous trees can withstand winter gales because the wind blows straight through the leafless crown.  A heavy growth of ivy in the crown, at a time of year when the ground is softer, because wetter, and a tree can come down in a high wind.

    If you cut through the ivy stems close to the ground, the upper growth on the tree will die and the leaves will drop off.

    As for the cat, it has to crap somewhere.  Is there an out of the way corner where you could keep a patch of soil regularly turned over?  It will probably prefer that.  

  • Thank you all for the replies. The tree is thriving which is staying as yes there's a bird's nest. I could live with the ivy but I don't like how it's taken over the tree and nearby fence. I'll look into dry shade ground cover and looks like cutting the ivy stems is the option. Thanks again.
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